Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

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Oranoco
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Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Oranoco » Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:31 pm

As title really. Want to do an 8x4 board which will require manual handling to put it away when not in use so need to do it to be as light as possible. What's the best method and materials to make sure it's as light as possible?

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Bufferstop
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Bufferstop » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:38 pm

Keeping an 8x4 board rigid is a big ask. Best bet would be 6mm ply with the framing made from two layers of 4mm ply with approx 15mm square spaces glued and pinned between them at regular intervals, and as deep as can be, at least 150mm. Think something like the inside of a gliders wing. The big danger of large sheets is that they will twist when being handled, popping all of the rails out of their fixings. My test for rigidity is to lift the board by one corner, if it flexes its not rigid enough.
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Emettman
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Emettman » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:10 am

Bufferstop wrote:Keeping an 8x4 board rigid is a big ask. Best bet would be....


I'll support that. 6" deep spaced (15mm) plywood beams along the long edges, same at the ends and for at least two more cross beams, the three rectangles formed having diagonal "X" braces across them.

And that is nearer minimal rather than over-the-top!

Here's the "spaced girder" construction , but on just a 3ft by 2 ft board.
Image
Finding images of an 8x4 board that was intended to be moved was difficult.

I can't think of construction methods that would be simpler and lighter that are also proven.
(unconventional ideas, those I have: I tend to.)

Have you been to a d-i-y store and handled 8x4 sheets, to see what you are asking of yourself?

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby b308 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:51 am

Yes I agree, it's the same as that discussion on the 6x4 layout. Such large boards are just not manageable unless the place you store them is directly in a straight line and not round any corners or through doors...

They also need two people to carry them safely...

It's one place OO scale comes unstuck, whilst it's a relatively small size even 6x4 which is just about the minimum you can get away with in OO for a double track oval, it's a sod to move round...

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby ParkeNd » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:57 am

I think that once the "setter of the limitations" has seen how huge a single 8x4 board with its 6" deep rigidity struts is then I think she may be horrified - that's assuming you even manage to get it back from the DIY store. Leaning against a wall it is going to be more domestically disruptive than in a horizontal position with legs. With scenery on top it is going to be at least 10 or 12 inches "thick" when vertical, and without it as a sort of Scalextrix track for trains it is going to be ugly in storage position. An OO layout really needs a garage, loft, or shed, or you need to be old enough to have a partner who has just given up being house proud.

The 4 foot width is going to be the most disruptive dimension and you may be better off with narrower boards that keep everything closer to the walls - and make it permanent.

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Oranoco » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:49 am

She who's in charge is my biggest problem to overcome. Fortunately we are bother fit and the board will be an up and over from its stored position to it's operational one. All scenery bar the platforms must be removable.

I know the limiting factors are a pain in the backside and fully accept that the board will be heavy and awkward to handle. Have access to brother in laws van so shifting wood from the merchants should be fine.

Hoping the wheels don't come off on this before I start.

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Emettman » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:25 am

Oranoco wrote:
Hoping the wheels don't come off on this before I start.


Now if you could be happy with little locos and short trains I could give you a plan or two with lots of operational play in 5 ft by 3 ft 3 in... which would definitely hang on a wall. covered by a picture the same size.
But the HST and similar length trains are going to need 8x4 almost as a minimum.

Chris. (trying to find a wriggle.)
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby b308 » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:28 am

There are two things that tend to derail things for beginners:

1. Being over-ambitious and getting disillusioned... and...

2. Spending too much time planning and not doing anything!

Plan wisely and keep it simple! :)

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Catweasel » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:51 am

If you are set on 8x4 then I would suggest that 2 off 4x2 boards would be better. Easier to handle and can be quickly linked together with suitcase latches or butt hinges with a removable pin. And they can be lighter.

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby ParkeNd » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:59 am

Catweasel wrote:If you are set on 8x4 then I would suggest that 2 off 4x2 boards would be better. Easier to handle and can be quickly linked together with suitcase latches or butt hinges with a removable pin. And they can be lighter.


Won't it need 4 off 4x2 boards?

Or either 4 pounds of 6 inch nails, or 6 pounds of 4 inch nails. :)

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Oranoco
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Oranoco » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:35 pm

If I went down the 2x 4x4 boards how can I ensure a decent rail joint and prevent bumping and derailing?

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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Flashbang » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:51 pm

Oranoco wrote:If I went down the 2x 4x4 boards how can I ensure a decent rail joint and prevent bumping and derailing?

This may offer some ideas? Link. The use of metal dowels aids baseboard alinement every time they connect together. Tracks are then laid across the joint, soldered to either copper clad sleepers or to small countersunk brass wood screws, then once all soldering is completed the rails are cut thought with a razor saw or Dremil type drill with meal slitting disc fitted. Others use drop in pieces of track that span the joint and then slide metal fishplates onto all the rail ends, but this to me is very time consuming, fiddly and really not necessary if the above solid rail fixing is used.
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Emettman
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Emettman » Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:17 pm

Oranoco wrote:If I went down the 2x 4x4 boards how can I ensure a decent rail joint and prevent bumping and derailing?



Several ways. The two board hinged together would be easiest, and help with the size for handling, but not the weight.
With the hinges underneath they can be screwed to the bottom of the board (simplest) but then when folded the track will be on the outside of each surface: vulnerable.
To hinge the other way (preferable) the hinges have to be slightly higher than the highest thing left on the board: platforms, here I think.
Then the boards will fold with the delicate track inside, far better for moving around. The hinges can be hidden under removable buildings etc.

The next issue will be what the layout is to rest on when in use. If the bed there will need to be some bracing at the hinge to help keep it supported and it and flat. That wouldn't be too difficult .

Chris.
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby End2end » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:15 pm

I had roughly the same idea as Emettman although the hinges would be on the framework itself.
folding layout.JPG
folding layout.JPG (62.87 KiB) Viewed 1203 times

The middle support could be hidden with a removable hill when the layout is in use and the middle woodwork could even be extended right upto the sides by making them solid tunnels rather than gaps strengthening the baseboard even more so.
Thanks
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Oranoco
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Re: Best and lightest way to build a 8x4 board?

Postby Oranoco » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:40 pm

Thank you, all food for thought. It's pretty darn complicated this model railway lark.


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